STAFF on the frontline of regional responses to at-risk children, young people and adults will meet in Adelaide tomorrow for Centacare’s inaugural Rural and Regional Conference.

The event will explore workers’ roles, experiences and challenges, and identify how they can be best supported in the delivery of critical community services.

Professional development will be provided through training across a range of areas including attachment, trauma and the brain, self-care and compassion fatigue.

Guest speakers at the conference are clinical psychologist Chris Connelly, who has worked in regional South Australia for more than 30 years, and Port Augusta-based child psychologist Dr Donna Kite.

Centacare Assistant Director Pauline Connelly said the conference, to be held at the National Wine Centre, would highlight the crucial role played by staff in protecting and connecting regional communities.

“Due to a lack of referral opportunities to other services in regional towns, social workers often feel a heightened sense of responsibility for their clients, sometimes in areas they may not specialise in,’’ Pauline said.

“They need a high level of trust in themselves. They are also highly visible within their communities; their client one day might be their child’s teacher the next.

“Common sense, sensitivity and good will are all personal requirements necessary within the professional framework of practice for the rural/regional practitioner.”